The Buffalo Sabres have looked like an entirely different team under head coach Don Granato, even if the postseason results have been the same. The team seems energized and is developing an impressive core of young players to go along with some veterans that have rediscovered their game. Because of that success, the Sabres have decided to sign Granato to a multi-year contract extension. General manager Kevyn Adams explained:
Don’s passion for the game and leadership skills have been on display since the moment we met. He is someone who the players have a tremendous amount of respect for, and he dedicates himself to bettering each individual on the team.
Don’s mentality of ’earning it’ resonates throughout the team – it is more than just a mindset, it is a driving force for our players and staff. I appreciate his thoughtfulness when it comes to developing our players and the open communication we are able to have about the team. I am happy to extend Don’s contract, keeping him in Western New York for many years to come.
Granato’s contract already extended through the 2023-24 season, meaning he’ll be around for quite a while with this new deal in hand. Entering his second full season with the team, he’ll be looking to take another step forward and take the record over .500. Last season, the Sabres went 32-39-11 in the tough Atlantic Division, missing the playoffs by quite a bit.
But it was the growth of players like Tage Thompson, who broke out for 38 goals, and the resurgence of highly-paid Jeff Skinner, who had 33, that was so impressive. With a defense corps that now boasts two first-overall picks in Owen Power and Rasmus Dahlin, a forward group that has breakout candidates like Dylan Cozzens and Peyton Krebs, and improved goaltending in place, the Sabres may at least put a scare in some of the Eastern Conference powerhouses, even if the playoffs don’t happen right away.